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Every year, “World Mental Health Day (WMHD)” is observed internationally on October 10, with an objective to raise public awareness about mental health issues that affect people all over the globe and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. Sponsored by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), the one-day event provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to discuss their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental healthcare a reality for people worldwide. Mental health issues/problems may affect a person’s personality, thinking, feeling or mood and causes mild to severe disturbances in the thought process, behavior and social interactions. These problems cover a broad range of disorders and include – depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), alcohol/substance abuse, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and eating disorders. Typical symptoms include – confused thinking, prolonged depression (sadness or irritability), social withdrawal, feelings of extreme highs and lows, mood swings, substance use, suicidal thoughts and inability to cope with problems and daily activities. Proper care and treatment can help people successfully manage or recover from mental health disorders. Ensuring that psychiatrists and clinical psychologists receive proper reimbursement for common procedures is important. Outsourcing medical billing and coding services help clinical psychologists ensure accurate and timely claim filing and reimbursement.

World Mental Health Day

Reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that mental disorders affect nearly 12 percent of the world’s population, and about 450 million people around the world will experience some kind of mental illness that would require diagnosis and treatment. It is estimated that 1 out of 4 people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives – placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The 2018 one-day event is a strong platform which promotes open discussions on mental illnesses as well as investments in prevention and treatment services. The event also gives mental health workers, physicians, nurses and other professionals a chance to reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems, dispel mental health myths and help people recognize when their friends or family members may need to seek treatment.

In most cases, diagnosis of mental health condition may include a detailed physical exam and psychological evaluation. Mental health issues vary from one disorder to another and so do the treatment options. One single approach that works for one person might not easily work for others (even if both the persons suffer from the same disorder). Hence, seeking treatment from a physician who knows your complete medical history and is familiar with your particular disorder is important before embarking any treatment plan. Treatment modality in most cases depends on the type of mental illness a person suffers, its severity and what works best for the person. In many cases, a combination of treatments yields better results. Common treatment modalities for mental health issues include – medications (like antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicines, antipsychotic medicines and mood-stabilizing medications), Psychotherapy, substance-abuse treatment and brain-stimulation treatments. The diagnosis, screening tests and other treatment procedures performed by clinical psychologists, psychiatrist or other physicians must be carefully documented using the correct medical codes. Medical billing and coding services provided by reputable medical billing companies can help physicians use the correct codes for their medical billing purposes. The 2018 ICD-10 codes for mental, behavioral and neurodevelopment disorders include –

  • F01-F09 – Mental disorders due to known physiological conditions
  • F10-F19 – Mental and behavioral disorders due to psychoactive substance use
  • F20-F29 – Schizophrenia, schizotypal, delusional, and other non-mood psychotic disorders
  • F30-F39 – Mood [affective] disorders
  • F40-F48 – Anxiety, dissociative, stress-related, somatoform and other nonpsychotic mental disorders
  • F50-F59 – Behavioral syndromes associated with physiological disturbances and physical factors
  • F60-F69 – Disorders of adult personality and behavior
  • F70-F79 – Intellectual disabilities
  • F80-F89 – Pervasive and specific developmental disorders
  • F90-F98 – Behavioral and emotional disorders with onset usually occurring in childhood and adolescence
  • F99-F99 – Unspecified mental disorder

World Mental Health Day (WMHD) was first initiated as an annual activity of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) in the year 1992 by the then Deputy Secretary General, Richard Hunter. Over the years, the event has quickly evolved into a worldwide observance which holds a wide range of events and programs to draw public attention about the importance of mental health and to increase public education and advocacy. Key activities include:

  • Officials signing the World Mental Health Day proclamation
  • Awards to individuals or organizations that made significant contributions in improving mental health issues
  • Educational lectures and the distribution of research papers on mental health issues
  • Public service announcements

The WMHD event had no specific theme during its initial years and it aimed to promote mental health advocacy and educate the public on relevant issues. During the first three years of the one-day campaign, one of the central activities was a two-hour telecast broadcast globally through the US information agency satellite system from studios in Talahassee, Florida. However, it was in 1994, at the suggestion of then Secretary General – “Eugene Brody”, a theme for the Day was used for the first time.

The theme for the 2018 campaign is – “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World”. The theme signifies the need to take a stand and draw worldwide attention to the issues our young adults are facing in our world today and provide suggestions on what they need in order to grow up healthy, happy and resilient.

To mark 25 years of World Mental Health Day, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has announced a new visual identity – a “green ribbon” – an international symbol for this movement. The new symbol shows off the key elements of the project – mental health awareness – as a green ribbon and the rays of the sun getting stronger and brighter, representing the way the project has helped the mental health movement and the individual’s progress towards recovery. Green ribbon pin badges can be purchased from the Mental Health Foundation website.

Join Mental Health Day celebration on October 10. Make an effort to ensure that people dealing with mental illnesses can live better lives with dignity.